Questions keep coming in from our audience; your voices do not fall upon deaf ears. Providing you an advantage, career professionals across the United States will be offering recommendations throughout our continuing Career Breakout series, where YOU control the question.
“I have tattoos and each time I go to an interview, people stare at them and I can’t get a job offer. What’s the big deal with a few tattoos?
No doubt about it, the use of tattoo art is increasing. WARNING: Tattoos may be dangerous to your career. According to the top career management associations, tattoos are not always a welcome site on prospective employees. I know you are simply expressing yourself in an innocent fashion but not everyone knows that.
Through the employer’s eye, let’s uncover some of the stereotypes associated with ink on skin.
True or not:
- Those with tattoos are rebels, not team players
- Hiring executives link ink with gang membership
- Non-tattooed employees are uncomfortable around those with tattoos
- Customers become intimidated when approached by inked representatives
- Hiring executives often associate tattoos with individuals who have been in prison
- Companies dealing with face-to-face clients prefer conservative looking employees
The above perceptions many companies (especially conservative organizations) hold as truths and will be a factor during the hiring process.
Regarding our original question, though tattoos may not be a big deal to me, to many they are. As mentioned in a previous submission, perception and attitude are directly related. Thus, if the hiring manager sitting across the table holds any prejudices (and we all do), you may be doing yourself a disservice by showcasing ink.
Another consideration may be more difficult to swallow. Perhaps your qualifications are not as strong as other candidates or your interviewing skills are lacking. Either factor could be the reason there have been no job offers. Ultimately, to blame tattoos may be your way of rationalizing?
There are multiple factors why individuals do not make it beyond the initial interview process. Perhaps it’s not the ink but something else. On a side note, it is not uncommon for hiring managers to eliminate candidates due to bad teeth, body odor, un-polished shoes, a gut feeling, or a fishy handshake. The list goes on and on. My advice to you is to receive an objective career evaluation from a career coach. Asking a friend or family member is nice, but knowing the truth is nicer.
If you have any questions for our career professionals, we are ready.
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Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC